Reading through Stryker’s 2013 SEC report, I was shocked to find this in the Risk Factors section on page 5,
We may be adversely affected by product liability claims, unfavorable court decisions or legal settlements. Our business exposes us to potential product liability risks that are inherent in the design, manufacture and marketing of medical devices, many of which are intended to be implanted in the human body for long periods of time or indefinitely.
That figure represents what one year of child abuse cases will cost the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control. For context, consider how that dollar amount is more than the annual budgets for 47 of our 50 states.
It may seem crass to speak of child abuse in financial terms but money talks, and perhaps if a cost is put on the long-term damage child abuse does to our society, it will finally become a public health priority.
On Friday April 11, shortly before the beginning of Holy Week, Pope Francis did what no Pope before him has ever done and took personal responsibility for the pedophile priests that have plagued the Catholic Church.
In remarks made at his library in the Vatican to members of a Catholic nongovernmental organization, the International Catholic Child Bureau, the Pope for forgiveness and pledged to impose penalties on “men of the church” who have harmed children.
The Pope’s comments are a positive step, but how much change in the church will they really bring? His words mean little to the children who are still being abused by priests around the world. If the Pope is sincere about wanting to end the epidemic of sexual abuse by priests he needs to take immediate action. The Vatican still refuses to open its archives and release records on abusive priests. The Vatican still refuses to fully expose the Bishops who sheltered abusive priests from prosecution and are thereby complicit in the abuse.
This week Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel asked for the reinstatement of a $1.2 billion Risperdal fine overturned by the state’s Supreme Court last month. The associated press reported on April 3rd that Attorney General Dustin McDaniel told the Arkansas Code Revision Commission on Thursday that he would file a petition asking the Court to revisit the decision.
In the petition McDaniel said that justices did “significant harm” to the state and broke from 170 years of precedent. The $1.2 billion verdict had been levied against Johnson & Johnson and its Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit in April 2012, after an Arkansas jury found that the companies had violated state laws governing Medicaid fraud and deceptive trade practice by improperly marketing Risperdal. The Supreme Court overturned that verdict last month claiming that McDaniel’s office had misapplied the state’s Medicaid fraud law.
On Tuesday April, 8, a Louisiana Jury ordered drug makers Eli Lily and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company to pay a total of $9 billion in punitive damages after they judged the companies did not disclose known cancer risks of their diabetes medicine Actos. In the award, Japan-based Takeda was ordered to pay $6 billion, and Eli Lilly, which helped promote and market the drug, was ordered to pay $3 billion. The jury also awarded nearly $1.5 million to the plaintiffs in compensatory damages.
The prescription drug pioglitazone, which was sold under the name Actos, was prescribed to treat patients with Type 2 Diabetes. An FDA review in 2011 discovered that patients taking Actos for more than a year had an increased risk of bladder cancer. That same year the drug was banned in several European countries over the same concerns.